Confidence among U.S. consumers soared in July to the highest level in almost seven years on the heels of a strengthening labor market.
The Conference Board’s index rose to 90.9, the highest since October 2007, from a revised 86.4 in June, according to the New York-based private research group. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected a reading of 85.4 for the month.
“Stronger job growth helped boost consumers’ assessment of current conditions, while brighter short-term outlooks for the economy and jobs, and to a lesser extent personal income, drove the gain in expectations,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement. The figures “suggest the recent strengthening in growth is likely to continue into the second half of this year.”
Estimates of the 75 economists in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 82.8 to 88.5 after a previously reported 85.2 reading in June.
The barometer of consumer expectations for the next six months increased to 92.7, the highest since February 2011, from 86.4 a month earlier.